Beni Ourain is originally a confederation of 17 Berber tribes living in the Atlas Mountains since the 9th century AD. The Atlas Mountains were an ideal location because of their isolation and the richness of its pastures that permitted the tribes to enjoy abundant food all year long. Agriculture was at the center of their activities and sheep farming was particularly developed.
Berber tribes originally lived in tents, and because of the cold nights in the mountains they had to find a way to stay warm. That is when the first Beni Ouarain rugs were confectioned to cover the entire space occupied by the tent, resulting in large carpets. The wool comes from the sheep of mixed flocks. Traditionally and still nowadays, Beni Ourain rugs are made by women. They collect the wool of the sheep meticulously, selecting only the softest and most silky wool.
Because the Berber populations of this region had very little contact with the outside world being secluded in the mountains, they remained anchored in their traditions. Thus, Beni Ourain rugs remained unchanged over time. This explains their archaic appearance and decoration based on simple geometric figures such as lines, diamonds or diagonals on a white, ivory or cream background. These Moroccan carpets have black or brown patterns depending on the sheep’s wool.
The white background of the Beni Ouarain rugs allows their use in many styles of decoration. They are not overburdened with colors and patterns and will highlight your furniture elegantly.
To distinguish a real Beni Ourain from a copy, there are simple rules to follow:
- You can easily detect the frauds by inspecting the reverse side of the carpet. The irregular knotting is a sign of the genuine Beni Ouarain
- Fake Beni Ouarain are usually lighter in weight!
To take care of your new rug, don’t hesitate to go check our Blog post about the maintenance of a Moroccan wool rug! : - )Continue reading